|Who We Serve|
|Why Summer Matters|
|Teaching & Learning|
Aim High Summer Program
The foundation of Aim High is an intensive, engaging and challenging five-week summer school program for middle school students from low-income families. Students join after 5th or 6th grade, and participate for three or four consecutive summers. Students graduate from Aim High in the summer prior to their freshman year in high school. Aim High works in close partnership with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), the Exploratorium, as well as partner schools, school districts, and universities.
Middle school is a crucial juncture in making a difference in young people's lives and the purpose of Aim High is to reach students at this critical crossroads and propel them towards success in high school and college. Research has shown that sustained intervention during the middle school years goes a long way to keeping students engaged in their education, resulting in lower high school drop-out rates and higher rates of college matriculation. Learn more about our results and what makes Aim High so special.
Aim High’s summer school program operates a 5-week summer program, Monday through Friday, from 8am to 3pm. Key components and practices of the Aim High Summer Program design support our outcomes for youth:
- Academic Classes - Students participate in rigorous academic classes in the mornings, attending Math, Science, Humanities (a combined Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum) and Issues & Choices (an adolescent development class). Aim High classes are typically 16 students with 2 teachers, allowing for individual attention and a focus on project-based learning. In total, students receive over 60 hours of academic instruction over the course of the five-week program.
- Arts, Culture & Sports - Students spend time at Aim High exploring culture and diversity and learning about the issues that impact the local community. In the afternoons, students choose from a variety of arts, cultural, sports and physical activity offerings. Over the course of the summer, students participate in 40 hours of arts and enrichment activities. On Fridays, students participate in Cultural Days, field trips, and other fun activities.
- Advising, Core Values & College Awareness - Students spend time each week in mixed-age and grade advising groups, learning study skills, high school preparedness and early college awareness. Aim High’s core values - community, opportunity, respect, and high expectations - form the basis of every interaction in Aim High. After students graduate from Aim High, they can access services through our Student Center during their years in high school.
- Parent/Caregiver Involvement - Aim High assists working parents by operating multiple campuses that are easily accessible by public transportation. Aim High is tuition-free. Aim High provides numerous opportunities for parents to be active partners in their children’s education through inclusive events like: Family Orientation Night, Back to School Night, Futures Night (a family education event highlighting high school and college choices), weekly Cultural Days, and various volunteer opportunities. Aim High communicates frequently with parents and solicits input and feedback from families regularly.
- Connections to Caring Teachers - Caring relationships are critical to Aim High’s success. Connections between teachers and youth are supported through: the program’s low ratio of staff to students (8:1); the continuity of care with students and staff returning to the program for 2-3 years; and the recruitment and retention of talented and diverse staff that reflect the diversity of the youth population and who serve as excellent role models. 39% of the teaching staff are graduates of Aim High, 69% of staff are people of color, and 51% are bilingual.